All eyes on Leafs’ Kessel as trade rumours swirl

What is brewing as a much bigger story in Toronto, however, is what happens with Kessel’s contract situation and if he remains with the team long term.

The five-year deal he signed when he originally landed with the Leafs in former GM Brian Burke’s infamous trade with the Boston Bruins is set to expire on July 1, 2014, meaning Kessel can sign an extension in less than five months.

It is also believed that while Leafs GM Dave Nonis isn’t offering his top sniper around the league, he is willing to listen to offers, rumours that will only increase should Toronto fall out of the playoff race before the trade deadline in early April.

Kessel’s agent, Wade Arnott, said Friday it was “too early” to begin the discussion about potentially re-signing in Toronto.

“The season is just 11 games old,” Arnott said. “I know Phil is only focusing on the next game. We’ll see what the off-season brings, but I know he enjoys playing for the Leafs and living in a hockey market.”

There’s a difficult decision to be made on both sides here, too.

Kessel must determine whether he wants to play for a Toronto team that may still be rebuilding another two seasons or more before it realistically can be considered a contender.

65 Responses to All eyes on Leafs’ Kessel as trade rumours swirl

  1. leafs_wallace93 says:

    Loved seeing Gorges whining ‘that real hockey players drop the gloves’ funny he didn’t really look like a man when McLaren was laughing in his face the whole fight. I’m loving Randy Caryle right now, no more crying and saying so & so went after our guy, just a flat response of try to push us around and you get Fraser, Orr, McLaren or Brown period, come at me bro. Haven’t heard talk like that from this organization in over a decade.

    When Kessel and Phaneuf are producing this is a good looking club.

    • toronto77 says:

      ya I agree. Even though it is obvious that Grabo did bite Pacioretty then good that’s what he gets. Pac smothered his hand in Grabo’s face, and started pulling his head towards him, Grabo couldn’t see or breathe, and Pacioretty is pissed!!!

      what did he think was going to happen???

      it doesn’t make Georges a man to get his ass kicked by McClaren, it makes him stupid. McClaren was laughing the whole time and really let up, if McClaren really wanted too there is no way Georges would be talking after the game, he’d be trying to put his jaw back in place.

      Price is an idiot too, saying that the leafs enforcers are jokers, what about Prust and company?

      TSN and SportsNet were biased this morning on the highlights, saying that Orr took a run at Plekanec? did they even mention why Orr took a run at him??? because either him or Gionta ripped the stick out of Orr’s hands and launched in to opposite side of the ice. They shouldn’t be surprised about Orr’s run.

      Gionta is getting off easy anyway. After he carelessly gave Reimer the concussion last year.

      The canadiens reactions in the third and comments after the game WAS ONLY THEIR FRUSTRATION FOR GETTING THEIR ASS KICKED, nothing more.

      You came out flat and loosed, why don’t “THEY” man up an accept it. They have no one to blame but themselves.

      • leafs_wallace93 says:

        Habs looked like a bunch of obnoxious kids in interviews whether it’s Subban, Price, Gorges ect…

        And I love it, Garbo has the confidence to stir the pot because he knows he’s getting backed up. Boston didn’t exactly steam roll last week like they would have done to Wilson’s line up. We did to the Habs what Boston used to do to us.

        I’m starting to believe in our lineup. Bozak, Kadri and Garbo can provide capable down the middle up their value and become good trade chips.

        Hell at this point I could stomach Komisarek in the lineup given that Caryle is taking the muzzles of his tough guys. Smash mouth hockey.

  2. razer1818 says:

    I like Kessel and the HUGe up side that he will bring in the future as he grows into a complete player. I have seen a more mature and stronger player in Kessel this year even in his lack of scoring but he is a streak player. Only Kessel, his agent and Nonis have an idea whetehr or not he has any intention on signing. If he does not have the intention on a 7 or 8 year deal than im OK with trading him. Maybe

    To Anh

    To TML

    • TJ1975 says:

      Do you seriously think that trade would happen as is?!?! (shakes his head)

      • razer1818 says:

        why not as of now both players are rentals, i should be throwing a pic too

        • leafs_wallace93 says:

          How about Kessel for Ryan?

          • realistic_leafs_fan says:

            It’s fair value.
            If Kessel got stronger and played bigger…he would be almost untouchable.

            • doorman says:

              He has played well despite not be able to statisfy those who only wwant goals from him, lol. I think he has become more well rounded (not a weight joke, lol) then most would admit. I am starting to sway to the side he may wanna resign.

              • realistic_leafs_fan says:

                The only issue I have with Kessel is his unwillingness to engage at times. It is fairly well known that he is not a fitness fanatic by any I think if he worked on his trength, he would be talked about in the sames manor as some other stars.

                • doorman says:

                  Ya learning to throw a bodycheck, could be a huge bonus,lol. Though it might be misplaced, through the interviews I have seen recently I am starting to think he will resign, thoughts?

                  • realistic_leafs_fan says:

                    He tries to avoid contact in fighting for a puck at times and even turns away that will hurt his status. I think money will be the iussue if Kessel does not want to re-sign in T.O.

                • leafs_wallace93 says:

                  Kessel isn’t a fitness fanatic and you want him to work on his strength?

                  You get stronger by your diet, i.e. eat a ton, given the amount of high intensity cardio an NHLer is subject to on a daily basis if Kessel is carrying a few extra pounds that’s a great sign that he’s bending over backwards to bulk.

                  Let’s be honest though, professional athlete fitness is just code for steroid stack. Kessel isn’t on Winstrol otherwise he’d be cut, but his speed and Winstrol would take his game to new heights.

    • Steven_Leafs0 says:

      Obviously this is only considered if Getzlaf AND Perry do not want to re-sign, but I think the Leafs should risk it. We get that big 1st line center we need and a replacement winger that can score 30+ goals a season but with size.

      Seguin, Hamilton, Knight for Getzlaf, Perry. Yes please. lol.

  3. realistic_leafs_fan says:

    I liked Doin’s game last night. He threw some big hits, joined the rush and kept his shot down. That’s what we need from Phaneuf, game in and game out. He stepped up his game. Glad to see it. There were still a few mental errors that almost cost us. I didn’t like seeing him complaining to the ref about a penalty he was going to get while two Habs were jumping his partner(Franson), but overall he played a very good game.
    Speaking of Franson, I really don’t understand the hesitation by many to give this guy more minutes. He played 20 minutes and still looked fresh. He has played a very strong game overall. This guy deserves more ice time, then again, he deserved more under Wilson as well. The 20 minutes Carlysle played him suggests Franson is finally starting to get some respect.
    Also Kulimen, unless the return is big…DON’T trade this guy.
    I loved the JVR for Schenn trade (even before it happened) and JVR is giving Kessel the big speedy forward to play with. We may see Lupul with Grabo and Kulimen when he comes back which I would be very happy to see.
    Glad to see Kessel get a couple.
    Hopefully the “we need a number 1 goalie” stuff will die down some now. Hopefully people are starting to realize that Reimer is a very good goalie.
    Glad to see Carlysle going back to the mentallity of “Even if you beat us on the scoreboard, you’re not going to beat us up as well.” The difference between him and Wilson is night and day. Toronto is tough to play against again.
    I’m looking forward to seeing how this team progresses under Carlysle.

    • leafy says:

      I think even getting someone like Weiss would be huge. Balance out the center position. Addition of a proven center and Lupul returning could make the Leafs take off.

    • LN91 says:

      Still need a big good #1.

      Dion’s mobility was an issue multiple time last night…It will unfortunately be his achilles heel

      • realistic_leafs_fan says:

        Agreed on Dion’s skating. I have also stated recently the areas he needs to improve and really hasn’t. Skating is a big one. That said, his game was more solid last night. He showed a balanced game that usually does not exist.
        #1 centre…of course. We do need a Carter, Staal, Backstrom, Getzlaf size and skill type of centre.
        Out of that group, for the right price I believe Backstrom may be available given Washington’s poor start and declining success.
        I do wonder if a package with O’Reilly and Stastny could be had from Colorado also.

  4. mapleleafsfan says:

    Best part about last night is the habs whining after. Our goons are great. Laughing at Gorges during the fight was awesome, Orr one shotting whoever it was. Carlyles interview was awesome too. At the very least this team is fun to watch.

    • realistic_leafs_fan says:

      Team is playing “team tough”. I love that! Prust starting running around trying to start crap and the Leafs shut them up…plain and simple. They went after guys like Grabo’s line. Toronto answered back. All Montreal’s whinning did was put a target on themselves from every other team in the league. It shows they can be intimidated and everyone will take notice.
      I like how NO one was allowed to touch Reimer without being driven into the ice. That should happen every game.

  5. Gambo says:

    I’m wondering what everyone thinks about the Grabovski situation. I don’t see a problem with it. Pacioretty put his arm in his mouth ffs, what’s Grabo supposed to do?

    Colton Orr is such a beauty.

    • toronto77 says:

      I fear grabo may get a one game suspension or a fine. But maybe not, it’s not like grabo grabbed Pac’s arm and pulled it up to his face and bit it( like jon voight did to george in seinfeld). Grabo’s situation is kind of self defence.

      I love how Komarov completely ignored Prust at the start of that scrum, made him look like an idiot.

      • Gambo says:

        I don’t really see what else he could have done. He was in some obvious discomfort and he could’t pull his arm off with his hands so it seemed like biting was the last thing he could do.
        But you’re right, a 1 game suspension is a possibility.

    • leafs_wallace93 says:

      Garbo is playing like he’s a giant, fleshing out that pest dimension to his game will help justify his contract. Komarov should start running around too.

      The Leafs have sorely missed a useful bottom six since the the previous lockout.

  6. toronto77 says:

    How do you not love Komarov?

    After scoring his first career NHL goal last night that opened the scoring, he could care less just cares about the team.

    He is 110% a team player.

  7. doorman says:

    The best part of all these comments is we all keep using the term team. That’s the biggest difference this year. These guys up for and stand together. Add that to Carlyle allowing them the ability to play without fear of being benched or thrown under the bus. I have always said that we need a higher pick and I meant it, until the kids were allowed to play. If they keep playin g and play hard I can live with wherever we finish, it is part of the growi g process. As for Komarov ya he is awesome under the skin without saying anything. And Reimer is looking like he could again be a number one.

    • realistic_leafs_fan says:

      What happen to all the Wilson supporters?lol I did see your Wilson comment before it got deleted…I was going to ask you if it was Burkes?lol
      As for Reimer…he never stopeed being a potential number 1.IMO He had a head injury and needed time more than anything, the way I see it. His rebound control is even coming back. He will be fine.

      • doorman says:

        Ya it was bad lol, could have been Burke who knows??? As for Reimer I say that as I need to see it as over more time and that Wilson almost ruined him last year rushing him back. I wouldn’t mind seek g them claim Joey Mac to be the veteran back up to be honest

  8. doorman says:

    We have all discussed a veteran back up here before and acquiring one at the right price. The Wings placed MacDonald on waivers today, would he be a guy that could fit the bill? I think we cod do worse and he has been here before. I would take a chance on him, he’s streaky but I like his attitude.

  9. realistic_leafs_fan says:

    Although I am in favour of getting a veteran back-up, I’m not in favour of a veteran of the waiver No offense to MacDonald, but unless it seems like an up grade over Scrivens(who has played fairly well), I don’t really see the point.
    The thing I worry about is the trades that suggest Kulimen for a 3rd liner or Grabo for a second line centre type of things. To me, if we trade Kessel, Phaneuf, Gunnar, Gardiner,Lupul, JVR, Kulimen, Grabo, Reimer, Franson (yes it should be a move that tries to improve an area we are weak in.
    Something like Stastny and O’Reilly from Colorado for Kadri, MacArthur, Bozak + a prospect(not Reilly)/pick(not 1st)would fill the voids at centre. We lose some good hockey players, but we gain what we need. Colorado may be more willing to trade O’Reilly than have him not play. They are also weak on the right side especially with Downie out, so we have filled some needs for Colorado as well. They get two centres for two centres plus a solid RW and a prospect or pick. Would it happen, who knows, but the point is…trade for what your weak in from a position of strength…cause that’s what the other team is trying to do as well.

    • doorman says:

      I wod look at kule as a starting g poi t for ROR, col has centers they need wingers. He is the type of player who could help us long term. Though kule being traded would hurt

      • realistic_leafs_fan says:

        See, I don’t like that because we lose an area we are weak in…big, strong wingers. ROR may top out as a second line centre which we have in Grabo and maybe in Kadri. I really believe we are top line centre and a big third line winger away from a playoff team as long as we keep the players above mentioned intact.

  10. leafy says:

    People shouldn’t be surprised Reimer is playing great. Last year he got injured early, but 2 seasons ago, he played like an all-star goalie.

    • doorman says:

      Yes, but he was mishandled by Wilson after it and that can hurt a players development. But yes he is playing well.

      • realistic_leafs_fan says:

        True Doorman. I think Wilson hurt a few players development. Reimer has the right mentallity I think to get past it though.
        Wilson destroyed Aulie though. I heard that Aulie said(after the trade) that he was never told why he was demoted to the AHL or what he needed to work on to get back up to the Leafs. That is brutal!

        • doorman says:

          That trade for Ashton, still bugs me, lol, I don’t know why you trade a 6’6″ damn who skates and hits. And he played well with Dion. I do think we need to caonsider a few moves on D though. We just have too many of the same 4,5 through 7ish type guys. Move some depth for assets, the aquire a legit top4 stay at home physical dman.

          • leafs_wallace93 says:

            It irked me at the time because who cares about Ashton, it bugged me when we traded Schenn. If we had Aulie we could be shopping Frason.

            Our blueline is too soft.

            • doorman says:

              Thoughts on who you would target to toughen up our blueline? I agree and have a player in mind, but not sure we could get him? lol

              • realistic_leafs_fan says:

                Defence is still a little soft but I don’t expect much to happen there until they evaluate Gardiners progress. If he looks like he will return to last years form it changes everything. If not, Nonis may look for something different than he would should Gardiner be ok.

                • doorman says:

                  Oh gardiner changes everything, best thing they can do is let him become healthy, ALA reimer’s difference in play this year. If he is it opens options for sure. But I think we need a shutdown rock who is physical and makes guy think twice, lol. I have a guy I wouldn’t mind but not sure what he would cost & if they would trade him here. He is UFA so who knows, lol, but I think Regher could really bolster our blueline, much like I was hoping we could sign Gleason before he reupped with the Canes.

                  • realistic_leafs_fan says:

                    Big cap hit and a potential UFA. What would you be willing to give up? Is his NMC still intact or is it removed since he waived it already to go to Buffalo?

                    • doorman says:

                      Well Not what Buffalo would want being we are a division rival. I don’t know about the NMC, I was more putting out there the type of guy I think we need. If said player could play with Dion it may bring out the best in his game too?

                    • realistic_leafs_fan says:

                      It’s funny> I like the way Dion and Franson play together when they are paired.

            • realistic_leafs_fan says:

              I didn’t like that trade(Aulie) at all.. I like the Schenn/JVR trade though. I was all for that and I think we are better off now.

          • toronto77 says:

            Ashton has been unimpressive. This kid could be a 1st round bust, one of the most unsuccessful players in the top 30 of the 2009 draft. With all the leafs forward roster all ready booked up, and now having to compete in the depth chart with forwards like Ross, McKegg and Biggs, I doubt Ashton will ever be a leaf.

  11. nordiques100 says:

    Question. Would you trade Gardiner for Tyler Myers?

    Myers has obviously struggled this year, likely due to the weight of his new 7 year contract.

    But he has had some terrible defence partners. Sekera is not suited for a top pairing. Regehr is well past his expiry date. Weber, Brennan and Pardy are depth guys, Leopold is soft and unreliable. After the set pairing of Ehrhoff and Sulzer, the Sabres have had an awful D.

    He can be a real force though when on his game. at 6’8 he is a beast. But he can also skate extremely well. I think right now, he is trying to do too much and trying to compensate for the Sabre shortcomings.

    He’ll probably max out to be a 10 goal, 45 point player, but he can log big minutes and be an impact guy. The tutelage of Carlyle and Dave Farrish could help him get his game back.

    Also too, he could thrive being the “2nd” guy paired with Dion rather having to be “the man”. He is a RH shot as well so he’d fit nicely along side Dion.

    Toronto on the backend has more pieces who could fit Myers game better. Even Gunnarsson, a steady force could be the kind of partner he needs.

    Myers too, you know what you will be paying him the next while, so you wouldn’t need to worry about pending free agency. the only issue is what his 5.5 mil cap hit does to the cap now, and this coming summer as they still search for a top centre. I guess since they’re already under the 64 mil cap even now paying Komisarek to sit in the press box, Connolly in the minors and Lombardi in Phoenix, the cap hit of Myers wouldn’t be a major detriment.

    Eventually too, Gardiner could be reaching those numbers.

    Gardiner is still another full year away from RFA status and in a cap world, thats gold. And he showed briefly as a rookie, he can be a huge impact player himself, just in a different way. The concussion is a huge concern, but, we’ve seen that, after a little while, the players who have them eventually bounce back like Crosby and Bergeron.

    After his contract expires, should he play at the level he is capable of, he too could maybe buy another two years of proving himself a la Subban, further giving Toronto cap flexibility. So that’s a good thing Toronto may prefer.

    Gardiner is the only asset the Leafs have that would probably appeal to the Sabres. I’d pass on moving the 1st and Reilly seems like a potential Gardiner clone.

    So, I wonder if that’s a possibility. Both players are 22 years old so its not like its one of those prospect for rental trades.

    I think i’d do it. It would give Toronto a different look on D and having Reilly, a swift skating, offensive Dman in the Gardiner mould in the fold already, I’d love to see a 6’8 behemoth patrolling the leafs defence along side.

    The Leafs too could stand to strengthen their right side of the D. Kostka, Holzer and Franson have performed ok, but long term, Myers could be much more of an impact guy than those 3.

    I do like though the contractual control Gardiner comes with and the fact he can change a game on offence. But with Reilly in tow, maybe he’ll be that player.

    players of that size and skill come along rarely. Its too bad Fletcher traded 3 picks to move up to get Schenn when he could have had Myers in the first place picking 7th….then again, it would mean no JVR. it all worked out in the end I guess.

    • doorman says:

      Honestly, I wouldn’t. I would see what it would cost to aquire Myers, but I am sure Buffalo if they trade him is not looking to do it withen the divison. I like the calmness of Gardiner to much and I think he and Rielly would give the Leafs a heck of a one two punch on the PP, so to speak. As I type this I can’t help but think to myself, if you think he is having trouble with the pressure of the contract, how would he handle it here, where it is now the pressure of the contract + gardiner?

    • realistic_leafs_fan says:

      There is a lot of plus side to both players. The key is really Gardiner’s health, ability to recover(mentally) and does this injury affect his play going forward(ie. does he play more tentative).
      Buffalo is in complete disarray right now, so a change of scenery could be what Myers needs.
      That’s a tough call Nords. I have mostly reserved trading Gardiner unless that star quality top six forward came up.
      it’s also alot more money tied up on the backend bringing in Myers.
      I remember last summer after the draft I wrote a post suggesting Gardiner could be traded for the top 6 star we need if Burke landed Schultz since he already drafted Reilly. All the responses were-do not trade Gardiner! I will assume that nothing has changed on here.

      • doorman says:

        LOL, I don’t wanna trade Jakey, as it would kill me to see him blossom elsewhere. I am not saying he is untouchable, lol, hell Wayne was traded, TWICE!!!! I would rather trade Gardiner for a Centre then a dman. I like his game and I think he has the mentality to recover. i think being with Eakins and the Marlies is good for him. Notice how all players that have skated for eakins, LOVE him. They would skate through a wall for that guy. mark my words, gardiner will be fine. So outside of that, what does it cost to aquire a busting Dman with a 5.5mil cap hit for what seems like forever, lol?

    • leafs_wallace93 says:

      Buffalo wouldn’t do this deal IMO, Gardiner is too much of a question mark. I think Leaf fans are in a rude awakening with Gardiner seeing how he’s being project to be the next Lidstrom. Keeping in mind he was a throw in prospect in the Beachemin deal if we could land Myers I do the deal in a heartbeat.

      Gardiner is exciting but he could he could be a huge bust.

      • realistic_leafs_fan says:

        If not sure if anyone has projected Gardiner as the next Lidstrom.LOL
        But, yes a lot of Leaf fans are high on him and rightfully so though. He skates well, sees the ice well, has good hockey sense and is an excellent playmaker…there’s alot to like. He was on track for another great year in the AHL before his injury. I don’t see bust…defensive liability at times? Yes, but unless his injury screws him up, I think he’s a 2-3 D-man going forward. I would be very surprised if this guy busts and can’t stay in the NHL (all depends on recovery of course)

    • Gambo says:

      Yeah I would do the trade for all the reasons you mentioned. If we didn’t have Rielly in the system then heck no, Myers is a huge two ways.

      I doubt either team would do this though, which doesn’t bother me. Gardiner has all the potential to be a top pairing guy.

  12. doorman says:

    On a different note, I wonder if Orr is one of the “fighters” James Duthie talked to and would like to have a talk with Rinaldo about the “code” and how he broke it?

  13. mapleleafsfan says:

    Another awesome game. Hopefully Reimer’s not out long term. Our goon line has played great. McClaren diving to block a shot when we’re up 5-1 with a couple minutes to play is awesome. Grabo was feisty again. Orr actually looks like he can play hockey and the D shy away when he’s fore-checking. JVR with a beauty goal too. Hope he keeps it up.

    • mojo19 says:

      Ya what a great game tonight.

      I’m loving the toughness in this line up. Mark Fraser, Frazer McLaren, Jay McClement, Colton Orr, Leo Komarov, and Korbinian Holzer all making an impact by playing good physical hockey. Nice additions to the line up, and speaking of which, Kadri has been leading the team in scoring since game 1 and continues to do so.

  14. doorman says:

    To steal a phrase from my kids, OMG!!! How could you not love Komarov’s game? 25% into a shortened season and you gotta know he has earned a contract extention. Plays hard and drives opponents nuts, with usually even saying anything, lol. Again loved the total team effort last night. I was sad to miss the last 10mins of the game, but hey that’s a welcomed change from them losing and not caring.

Leave a Reply